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Facebook algorithms

Facebook plans major overhaul for news feeds

Facebook algorithms

Facebook plans major overhaul for news feeds

Social networking giant Facebook has recently revealed that it plans to drastically change its news feed algorithms.

The changes will mean that users are more likely to see posts from friends and family prioritised in a bid to provide more meaningful social interaction and a better user experience. As a result, posts from businesses, organisations and groups will become less prominent on the platform, meaning that brands, media and other public content are likely to see interactions with their own posts and pages decrease, something which the company has acknowledged.

The change was announced by company CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg via his own page on the site on Thursday last week:

Zuckerberg explains that the changes are coming into effect because posts from businesses and other media are crowding the news feed and are taking away “personal moments” that let users connect with their friends, family and other acquaintances.

In the post, Zuckerberg highlights that one of the core values of Facebook is to connect people, as strengthening relationships is scientifically proven to keep people happy and improve their wellbeing. He feels that in recent times, the balance of content appearing in news feed has shifted from social interactions between people, to passively reading articles and watching video content.

This is something Zuckerberg wants to change as he believes it does not adhere to the true Facebook values and what the site aims to do. He wants to see a shift back towards people’s connections and interactions with each other.

Furthermore, Zuckerberg states that as a result of these changes, he expects the average time that users spend on the platform to go down, along with some other metrics of engagement that Facebook uses. However, he expects that the time users do spend on the site will be much more valuable and meaningful.

These changes are set to be made to the site in the coming weeks.

This is not the first time that the company has turned its attention to the balance of content appearing in users’ news feeds. Last year, the company tested a feature that separated the family and friends’ posts from public content produced by businesses and publishers.

The “Explore” tab – which has rolled out worldwide after successful tests in six countries including Slovakia and Bolivia – is a feed dedicated purely to public content, but received criticism after publishers complained that traffic dramatically fell.

Earlier in the year, Zuckerberg made it his personal mission for 2018 to “fix” Facebook and help protect the network’s users from online hatred and bullying, as well as increase defence against state interference.

Alan Littler
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